A Norwegian spruce, the City of Oslo’s traditional gift to the UK, was cut down in the forest by the Mayor of Oslo and Lord Mayor of Westminster.
Children from Oslo International School and Norwegian primary school Nøkkelvann skole gathered in Oslo’s eastern forest on Wednesday 18 November to sing carols as they witnessed the felling of this year’s Trafalgar Square Christmas tree.
Oslo has sent a tree to the London every year since 1947 as token of gratitude, celebration and commemoration of Britain’s support during the war when the Norwegian government and royal family lived in exile in London from 1940 to 1945 during Norway’s occupation. The annual gift of a Christmas tree has come to symbolise the deep and long-lasting friendship between Norway and the United Kingdom.
The Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen invited the Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor The Lady Flight and the British Ambassador Sarah Gillett to this year’s tree-felling ceremony, which took place in Oslo’s certified sustainable forest at Skullerud. The 21-metre tall tree, which weighs about four tonnes and is over fifty years old, is now on its way to London by road and sea. “The Queen of the Forest” as she is affectionately known by the forestry workers who groom a number of spruce trees over a period of years, was selected from a shortlist of particularly fine trees just a few weeks ago.
The Norwegian Christmas tree will be lit with energy-efficient tree lights in Trafalgar Square on Thursday 3 December at 6pm.